October 8, 2001
Emilie Schindler, 93, Dies; Saved Jews in War
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ms. Schindler, who had lived in Argentina since 1949, came to
Germany this year saying she wanted to spend her final days here.
A retirement home in Bavaria accepted her, but she fell ill
and was hospitalized at the Märkisch-Oderland clinic.
She was born in a German-speaking village in today's Czech Republic,
then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She married Mr. Schindler
in 1928 and moved with him to Krakow, Poland, where they ran a
factory later used to harbor Jewish laborers during World War II.
The Schindlers immigrated to Argentina after the war, but Mr. Schindler
returned to Germany in 1958, leaving his wife behind. Though they
never saw each other again, they never divorced. Mr. Schindler died
in 1974. They had no children, and for decades, Ms. Schindler lived
alone in Argentina, subsisting on a state pension until the film
brought her more attention. She was awarded Argentina's highest honor
granted to foreigners, the Order of May, in 1995. In her memoir,
"Where Light and Shadow Meet," written with Ms. Rosenberg and published
by Norton, Ms. Schindler portrayed her husband as a womanizer
and as self-serving as he was generous. Her own recollections of scrounging
for bread and medicine on the black market and begging for
food for the Jewish laborers they kept were detailed in the
book, illustrating her claims that her husband had not single-handedly
saved their lives. After returning to Germany in July, she donated papers
and other items that belonged to her husband to a history museum
in Bonn. Earlier, she lost a legal battle to obtain a suitcase full of
her husband's papers, including a list of the Jews who were saved,
that a German couple found in 1999 and gave to the Stuttgarter
Zeitung. The paper published excerpts, then donated the papers
to Yad Vashem. Ms. Schindler is survived by a niece in Germany.